The Right and Wrong Times to Open Up
I have made a big change in the past few months. I have limited how often I vent to people and also who I vent to. Up until recently, I was an open book to quite a few friends. As soon as I would start feeling down, I would pick up my phone and shoot them a text to let them know how I was feeling. I worked on impulse, and never took a second to consider the consequences of it.
It’s very healthy and necessary to vent to those close to you when you need it, but I released that I was going overboard. I took a step back and thought emphatically – would I want to receive daily texts like those? Although I know my friends would be there for me and vice versa, I imagine it can get tiring to be on the other end. Being around negativity everyday is exhausting, and I realized that me venting constantly to my friends may be affecting them.
Now, whenever I feel like reaching out to a friend to vent, I make myself stop and think about if it is necessary. Is it something minor that happened that I will get over soon? Is it something that I can find another outlet to feel better with – like maybe writing about it in a journal? This has kept me from sending tons of texts that I know I would regret later, and I felt much better about not bothering my friends with little nuances.
I also found limiting my circle to be beneficial. Before, I had five or six people I would open up to constantly but now I’ve kept it to two close friends. This way, I don’t feel like I am burdening all of the people in my circle and I can turn to those who I know I can trust completely.
Don’t get me wrong, venting is amazing. I believe so strongly in it and constantly encourage others to do it because it beats the alternative of keeping everything bottled up inside. However, in my personal life, I have benefited from having a balance. This is not to say that everyone would benefit from the same amount of venting that I do, but this has personally helped me immensely. Now, I lean on my friends for support during more serious times. This has also taught me how to cope on my own; having the support of friends is great, but so is realizing that you can do this on your own. Once I began venting less, I became less codependent and felt proud of myself for finding a solution by myself.
Another great solution is finding a therapist if you feel like you are oversharing. With a therapist, you can vent all you want and get a professional opinion on how to feel better or find a solution for whatever you are dealing with. This helped me as well; I would go to therapy to fully vent about what was bothering me. I would let all my thoughts out there, cry, talk about my fears, etc., so that when I told my friends about what was going on with me later, I was more composed and had a more leveled head. This way, I wasn’t always turning to my friends crying and desperately asking for help. I was able to still vent and share what I was going through but without the extreme emotion.
I still turn to my friends during times when I am especially upset or need advice on a really pressing issue. I will never stop turning to my support system and venting, and you shouldn’t either! This article was merely to share something that has improved my mental health these past few months and could help someone else who may also struggle with oversharing. If you vent often to your friends and find yourself feeling worse afterwards, this may be your solution. Anxiety can make us feel like our friends think we are annoying them when in reality, they are happy to be there for us. However, limiting how often you vent and how many people you are venting to can help curb that anxiety.
Do you vent regularly? Do you have specific people you vent to? Share in the comments below what you think!